Harvesting the Sun: Keep Soil Working as Long as Possible

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Does bare, black earth harvest the sun? Nope. Unless there is a plant to intercept the sunlight, that beam of energy doesn’t really do a thing for the soil and that needs to change, says Peter Johnson, cereal specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

Johnson, and many others at OMAF, are on a mission to get farmers growing…cover crops that is. At the very least, he’s encouraging farmers to think differently about removing all crop residue and reducing tillage, in an effort to keep soil productive and producing.

And there are sound reasons for it, covered ground is less prone to all types of erosion, plus ground growing a productive cover crop is cycling nutrients and building organic matter — the cornerstone of healthy, productive soil.

Listen here: It all starts with soil: Agronomy Geeks Podcast

Johnson talks about not just the health of soil that’s either covered or growing throughout the year, but he also discusses available funding for farmers would are willing to plant the crops. From building organic matter, to cycling nutrients, to saving waterways from runoff, Johnson is challenging farmers to “drive agriculture forward, let’s harvest the sun!”

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